It is disappointing that Judge Christ-Garcia did not explain her ruling yesterday. We can only deduce that she did not believe the testimony of several police officers. A detailed police report filed in the case paints a very negative picture of a belligerent McNeil spewing abusive and profanity-laced words towards police officers from the moment they arrived at her house to investigate her complaint that a knife-wielding pedophile was in her home and had attempted to cut her. A 9-1-1 recording of the call McNeil placed before police were dispatched to her home confirms the state of mind police described in their report. Police found no knife-wielding man in McNeil's home and a subsequent investigation of the allegations the man had sexually abused a juvenile turned up the fact that the alleged abuse had actually taken place years earlier, if it even happened at all. It is undisputed that Officer Emily Perkins injured her wrist after she and other officers claimed McNeil shoved her with both hands placed to her chest, causing her to fall against the house. Although McNeil denied suggestions she was drunk, she told police she had consumed two margaritas earlier. Police said McNeil repeatedly told them she couldn't be arrested because she was a city councilor and flashed her business cards at them. After police took her into custody, McNeil urinated herself while being transported for booking the police report alleged.
Judge Christ-Garcia's ruling yesterday gives IMPD a big black eye whether it is deserved or not. None of the news reports I've reviewed since the ruling came down have included a response from IMPD or any of the individual officers involved in the case. McNeil seemed contrite after testifying at her trial on Wednesday. "It's an unfortunate situation," McNeil told reporters. "I'm embarrassed about the public out springing of profanity that was exhibited by myself, and that's all I can say," she said.
McNeil's arrest generated lots of media interest. The fact that she was arrested and a 9-1-1 call and police report had been made available to the media helped fuel the coverage. I recently discovered another incident, however, involving a scuffle between a state senator and another man where no charges were brought against the elected official or the other individual. Although a publicly-accessible police incident report was filed, the case did not draw any media attention of which I'm aware. The New Year's Eve incident at the Columbia Club at the end of last year allegedly involved Sen. Brent Waltz (R) and another club member, Scott Weaver. Here'a what police wrote about that incident. The identity of bystanders who witnessed the scuffle between Waltz and Weaver have been redacted from the report by me:
ON WEDNESDAY 12 31 2008 AT APPROXIMATELY 1045 PM I, OFFICER ROBERT LAWSON, ALONG WITH OFFICER JOSHUA SHAUGHNESSY, BOTH OF THE IMPD, WERE DISPATCHED TO A PERSON ASSAULTED AT THE COLUMBIA CLUB AT 121 MONUMENT CIRCLE. UPON ARRIVAL I SPOKE WITH BRENT WALTZ, WHITE MALE 35 YEARS OF AGE, AND MR. WALTZ STATED THAT WHILE AT A NEW YEARS PARTY AT THE ABOVE MENTIONED ADDRESS, MR. WALTZ AND SCOTT WEAVER, WHITE MALE APPROXIMATELY 45 YEARS OF AGE, WHO HE HAS KNOWN FOR ABOUT 12 YEARS AND HAS HAD SEVERAL DISAGREEMENTS WITH OVER THE YEARS, WERE ENGAGED IN AN ARGUMENT AND THAT MR. WEAVER GRABBED HIM BY THE NECK WITH BOTH HANDS. MR. WALTZ THEN STATED HE TRIED TO PUSH MR. WEAVER OFF OF HIM. MR. WALTZ ALSO STATED THAT [Name redacted], WHITE FEMALE 35 YEARS OF AGE, ALSO TRIED TO SEPARATE THE TWO AND MR. WEAVER SHOVED [Name redacted], CAUSING HER TO SPILL HER DRINK. AFTER SPEAKING WITH [Name redacted] SHE ALSO STATED THAT WHILE THE TWO WERE ENGAGED THAT SHE TRIED TO SEPARATE THE TWO AND SHE WAS SHOVED BY MR. WEAVER, CAUSING HER TO SPILL HER DRINK ON THE FLOOR. I THEN SPOKE WITH [Name redacted, WHITE FEMALE 34 YEARS OF AGE, AND SHE STATED THAT WHEN RETURNING BACK TO THE PARTY FROM THE RESTROOM, SHE WITNESSED BOTH MR. WALTZ AND MR. WEAVER HAVING THEIR HANDS ON EACH OTHER'S NECKS. [Name redacted] THEN STATED THAT AFTER THE TWO WERE SEPARATED THAT [Name redacted] DELIBERATELY DREW BACK AND THREW HER DRINK AT MR. WEAVER, HITTING HIM WITH IT. [Name redacted] ALSO STATED THAT BOTH MR. WALTZ AND MR. WEAVER WERE BOTH EQUALLY COMBATIVE TOWARDS EACH OTHER. MR. WEAVER WAS NOT AT THE SCENE UPON MY ARRIVAL. BOTH MR. WALTZ AND MR. WEAVER ARE MEMBERS OF THE BUSINESS [sic]. PARTIES INVOLVED APPEARED TO BE INTOXICATED. I WAS UNABLE TO LOCATED [sic] ANOTHER WITNESS WHO WOULD SAY THEY WITNESSED THE ALTERCATION. THERE WAS NO COMPLAINT OF PAIN BY ANYONE AND NO VISIBLE INJURIES TO ANY OF THE PARTIES INVOLVED. A REPORT WAS DONE TO DOCUMENT EVERYONE'S SIDE OF THE STORY.The police report notes that the involved parties appeared to be intoxicated. It's unclear to me why no arrests took place in the incident, other than as the police report notes, there was "no complaint of pain by anyone" and "no visible injuries." The police report makes no mention of one of the parties involved being a state senator, presumably because Waltz didn't draw attention to that fact while being questioned, unlike McNeil. Some might argue that the venue and the persons involved made a big difference in the decision not to arrest anyone. What do you think?